Resources and Ideas for Staying at Home with Kids


With things changing by the minute for all of us, we want you to know our team at Mankato Moms Blog is here for you.  We are all in this together.  For some families, this has been a time of unwinding, connecting with one another.  TV, movies, games, walks and homemade treats.  Maybe you’re realizing you need a plan or a daily schedule?

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunts:

We started seeing ‘Shamrock Hunts’ popping up last in March and since then neighborhoods are getting creative!  If you have a neighborhood Facebook Group or maybe a group text with your neighbors make a plan for certain days of the week.  Here are some ideas: a bear hunt (have your kids put their favorite teddy bears in the window and then head out on a walk and see if you can spot other bears), hearts in windows are a great way to brighten everyone’s day.

Virtual Field Trips:

Places around the globe are ‘opening their doors’ to families at home through virtual field trips and free tours.  Here’s a great list of some of the places you can see including the Louvre Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chalk Your Walk:

Another fun way to connect with friends and neighbors (while practicing social distancing) is leaving messages on each others’ sidewalks and driveways with sidewalk chalk!

Educational Links:

If you would like to do some learning activities at home here are some educational shows to stream on Netflix.  MN Ag in the classroom is another great resource for education at home.  Highlights Kids, PBS Kids, Nat Geo Kids and Fun Brain are fun, interactive websites for math, reading, science and games.  There are also several children’s book authors hosting online storytimes on their social media channels including one of our favorite authors, Mo Willems.

Staying Active:

Getting outside and exploring is a fantastic option for making sure your little ones are staying active, but Minnesota weather doesn’t always cooperate with that.  My kids have been loving Cosmic Kids Yoga for its fun characters and music.

Finding a Routine:

I’ll be honest, we spent the first week of no school living like it was a holiday break.  We let the kids sleep in, stay in jammies and kind of just hung out together playing games and watching movies.  This week, I decided, we’d do better with a little more structure since I’m working from home as well.  The kids have actually been appreciating knowing what to expect next in their day since we started using these routine charts and daily routine checklists.  Feel free to download and print your own or check out this blank schedule and make one that works for you!

Special Celebrations and Events:

Unfortunately, you likely had to postpone or cancel plans during this time.  We have a very disappointed son who is turning 8 years old next week.  Even though we had to cancel his in-person birthday party, we are having a ‘virtual party’.  I sent a Zoom link to all of our families and they are planning on joining us for cake and celebrating on Saturday morning.  It’s not what we had originally planned, but it’s a way to make his day special regardless of our current situation.

When You’re Out of Ideas:

I think it was halfway through the second day, I looked at my husband and said ‘I’m out of ideas’.  Since then, I’ve backed off on trying to entertain the kids all day long.  We have played countless board games, played minute-to-win-it games, turned the fireplace hearth into a ‘train’ and traveled the country, had a lego creation battle and we finally got around to starting the first Harry Potter book.  One fun idea I saw this morning was an indoor beach party!  Fill a kiddie pool in your basement or heated garage OR just put on swimsuits and fill the tub!

This is an unprecedented situation.  A lot of us are working from home with our kids, trying to juggle it all while also navigating a very stressful time.   The number one thing to remember is to give yourself grace.  We are all in this together, and we will get through it.